Anger, Violence, and Impulse Control Disorders: Overview

The inability to adequately control one’s impulses and emotions is associated with a variety of destructive and self-defeating behaviors. For example, aggression typically results from a failure to resist the desire to harm another in the face of anger or provocation. Likewise, the inability to control urges to harm oneself can result in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) or suicide. Although there is a clear link between poor impulse control and aggression, not all acts of harm are impulsive and not all impulse control problems are aggressive in nature. For example, several impulse control disorders involve the inability to control the impulse to engage in pleasurable (e.g., shopping, gambling) or at least not violent (e.g., kleptomania) behaviors. This entry provides an overview of the overlapping but ...

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